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Carol Jenkins Barnett is an admired philanthropist whose legacy continues to impact the lives of many.

Carol Jenkins Barnett, community philanthropist and former chair and president of Publix Super Markets Charities, passed away yesterday at the age of 65.  

Lakelander, Jenkins Barnett, started her career as a cashier at a Publix store in the Grove Parks Shopping Center; she then moved up in the company through the corporate marketing research and development department in 1979. She was elected to the Publix board of directors in 1983, where she served until her 2016 Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

In addition to her service at Publix, Jenkins Barnette was personally involved in various nonprofit organizations, from the United Way of Central Florida to the Florida Partnership for School Readiness. Jenkins Barnett was also known for her generous donations to institutions, including her alma mater, Florida Southern College, and the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, which bears her name at the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children.

Carol Jenkins Barnett received numerous accolades for her generous spirit, such as a Champion for Literacy award from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and was selected for the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016.

Jenkins Barnett is survived by her husband, Barney Barnett; two sons, Wesley Barnett (Ashley Bell Barnett) and Nicholas Barnett (Ashley Gibson Barnett); three grandchildren: Raleigh, Birdie, and Zoey; and many other family members. She was preceded in death by her father, George, and mother, Anne.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, Saturday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m. For those unable to attend or if the church reaches capacity, the service will be live-streamed https://livestream.com/fumclakeland.

An icon for the service will be placed on the page; please click the link on Saturday to view.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Bonnet Springs Park, bonnetspringspark.com. During this difficult time, the family asks for privacy as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

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